The government on Sunday formally launched the formulation of the much-awaited ‘Tourism Master Plan’ for the next 20 years, aspiring to turn the travel and leisure sector into the third largest economic engine of Bangladesh after garments and remittance.
The tourism master plan, to be completed by June next year, is expected to create a distinctive brand image for Bangladesh as a popular tourist destination in the world in line with the country’s Vision 2041 to become a developed nation.
Besides, the master plan will contribute to the economic transformation of Bangladesh and achievement of the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs).
This was revealed on Sunday at the official kick-off meeting regarding the tourism master plan formulation at CIRDAP auditorium in the capital where state minister for civil aviation and tourism Md Mahbub Ali spoke as the chief guest.
The plan will be based on sustainable development of existing and new tourism products without interrupting cultural diversity, lifestyle and beliefs.
An investment strategy will be included in the master plan projects and suggestive measures will be prepared for promotion and marketing of Bangladesh tourism.
Ali said that the plan would frame short-term (three-year), mid-term (five-year) and long-term (15-year) initiatives with emphasis on identification and development of tourism products and their diversification with an assessment of infrastructure, marketing and investment opportunities.
The entire master plan would be formulated in three phases — situation analysis of tourism, preparation of strategic master plan and final tourism master plan, he said.
Indian-based tourism consultancy firm IPE Global in collaboration with global hotel tourism and leisure consulting leader Horwath HTL and two national firms — BETS and At Earth — has been awarded for formulating the master plan by June 30, 2021.
Senior civil aviation and tourism secretary Md Mohibul Haque spoke as the special guest with Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) CEO Bhubon Chandra Biswas in the chair.
IPE global team leader Benjamin Carey and deputy team leader geography professor Nurul Islam Nazem of Dhaka University gave separate presentations on different aspects of formulating the master plan.
Haque said that the master plan would be developed as per Bangladesh’s context and a monitoring team of the ministry has been formed to supervise the task.
Mentioning that presently the tourism sector is contributing 2 per cent to the country’s total GDP, the secretary said that the government has a goal to increase the tourism GDP contribution up to 10 per cent after formulation of the master plan.
In the first few months, Carey said that he would listen to the different tourism stakeholders in Bangladesh and visit the 64 districts to get a clear understanding of Bangladesh.
After that, Carey said, he will start formulating the plan based of his past experience of working in tourism sectors in nearly 50 countries around the world.
He was involved in formulating tourism master plans for Scotland, Sierra Leon, Rwanda and Yemen.
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